Danilo Petrucci expects Fabio Quartararo to surpass his unofficial lap record at Sepang in tomorrow’s FP3 ahead of the Malaysia MotoGP as he voices concerns over his own pace on fresh tyres.

Back at the February pre-season test Petrucci produced a stunning 1m 58.239s on his Ducati GP19 to set a new outright lap record at Sepang but with official lap records only recorded during race weekends Quartararo is credited with a new record thanks to his 1m 58.576s clocked at the end of FP2.

But Petrucci has predicted the Petronas Yamaha rider to take the all-time lap record in the cooler and more friendly conditions of FP3 tomorrow, as he lamented his own pace on fresh soft tyres having ended the afternoon session down in 12th place.

“During the test maybe there wasn’t any rain, and especially with just the Michelin tyre on the track, so this was really better but looking at Quartararo’s lap times I think he will beat my lap time tomorrow morning,” Petrucci said.

“For sure with cooler temperatures when the track will be better. Hopefully also on my side it will be better with traction. But I am not happy about today but I remain confident for tomorrow.

“The pace on used tyres is around fifth or sixth position but on new tyres I cannot make any difference so this is the main problem. We have to understand why and for sure tomorrow the track will be better but we are missing something at the moment.”

Petrucci is also nursing hip and ankle injuries from his painful high-side at the start of the Australian MotoGP last time out, when he was thrown into Quartararo’s Petronas Yamaha at the second corner, but feels his pace woes are a bigger concern than his fitness.

“I am not 100%. The ankle is okay, here on the side [left hip] I have some problem,” he said. “I feel the back too.

“I have not really been great today and I struggled with my back but physically it not the most important problem. I struggled a lot on new tyres, with used tyres it is not so bad, but I just have an attempt this afternoon so we cannot really be happy about that.”

After enduring his first DNF of the season at Phillip Island last weekend, Petrucci’s poor run of results over the second half of the 2019 MotoGP campaign has continued with the Ducati rider failing to finish inside the top six since the German round back in early July.

Petrucci is currently in fifth place in the riders’ standings and 14 points off Suzuki’s Alex Rins who holds third place which remains the Italian’s target for this season.